Andrew Coyne: Canada is accelerating toward death-on-demand.

Andrew Coyne: Canada is accelerating toward death-on-demand.

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Andrew Coyne wrote the following opinion column, that was published in the Globe and Mail on December 11, 2020. Coyne, who has been writing about issues related to euthanasia and assisted suicide for many years examines Canada’s move from cautiously considering euthanasia to Bill C-7 which nearly permits death on demand.

Coyne writes:

Six years ago, before the Supreme Court discovered a right to die in the constitution’s guarantee of the right to life, what most people understood as the case for assisted suicide was something like the following: a mentally competent adult, suffering acute pain from a terminal illness and facing more of the same to the end, comes to a firm and unwavering decision to kill herself – but is physically unable, by virtue of the same illness, to do so unaided, or fears she will be unable to when the time comes.

Read More “Andrew Coyne: Canada is accelerating toward death-on-demand.”
Austrian Court Creates Right to Assisted Suicide

Austrian Court Creates Right to Assisted Suicide

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This article was published by National Review online on December 14, 2020
Wesley Smith

By Wesley J Smith

A bit ago, Germany’s high court created an absolute right to commit suicide and the concomitant right to have help in making oneself dead.

Now, an Austrian court has said that committing suicide is a right of “self determination” and that obtaining help is part of that right. From the Tribune story:

The court said that the right to self-determination includes the right to a “dignified death,” and also the right of a person who has decided of their own free will to kill himself or herself to get help in doing so from another person.

Read More “Austrian Court Creates Right to Assisted Suicide”
A patient’s journey: If we jumped on the death train, that man would have died.

A patient’s journey: If we jumped on the death train, that man would have died.

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Dr Leonie Herx is the past President of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians and chair of the division of palliative medicine at Queen’s University.

I have an example of a very beloved patient of mine, who first came to my clinic asking for MAiD. So, he gave me permission to actually just sit with him and tell him that he mattered to me.

That takes a lot of courage, as a gentleman in his eighties, who’s used to being independent and he’d been a single dad. And for me to, he gave permission for me to say “you’re worth something just because you’re you and you actually deserve to be taken care of.”

Read More “A patient’s journey: If we jumped on the death train, that man would have died.”
Dr Mai: I already see the MAiD law being broken and a clear lack of safeguards.

Dr Mai: I already see the MAiD law being broken and a clear lack of safeguards.

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Dr Lauren Mai is a stroke neurologist who speaks about treatment options for stroke patients. She expresses concerns that MAiD assessors are not experts in stroke recovery and propose MAiD as the solution.


Something that’s always remarkably surprising from the stroke literature, for example, is that people with the most devastating strokes, once they have got over that acute phase and they have lived with that disability actually rate their quality of life on par with those who would not have disabilities.

There is this one surgery that we offer to people who have had the most devastating strokes where its life saving.

Read More “Dr Mai: I already see the MAiD law being broken and a clear lack of safeguards.”
Canada’s Justice Minister wants to expand euthanasia to people with mental illness alone.

Canada’s Justice Minister wants to expand euthanasia to people with mental illness alone.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

An article by Brian Platt published on November 24 in the National Post indicates that Canada’s Justice Minister David Lametti told the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs committee, that is studying euthanasia Bill C-7, that he hopes that the euthanasia law will expand to people with mental illness. Platt reported:

Lametti said he believes the government has found the right balance in respecting the dignity of people with disabilities, and also their right to end their life if their suffering is too great.

Lametti also said he hopes the medical assistance in dying (MAID) regime will eventually be further expanded to people who are suffering solely from mental illness, but the government doesn’t have enough time to do it before a court-ordered deadline of Dec.

Read More “Canada’s Justice Minister wants to expand euthanasia to people with mental illness alone.”
Dr Coehlo: Why I oppose euthanasia (MAiD).

Dr Coehlo: Why I oppose euthanasia (MAiD).

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The following is a presentation given by Dr Ramona Coehlo on December 9, 2020

My name is Dr. Ramona Coelho and I’m a family doctor. I’m originally from Montreal. My husband is a surgeon and epidemiologist. We have 5 children.

My practice in Montreal was largely compromised of patients who I cared for in their homes. My patients were homebound because of their illness or disability.

In 2012 we moved to London, Ontario and I have been practicing medicine here since.

Read More “Dr Coehlo: Why I oppose euthanasia (MAiD).”
Canada-Euthanasia Bill C-7 faces push-back. One Liberal MP says he is voting against the bill.

Canada-Euthanasia Bill C-7 faces push-back. One Liberal MP says he is voting against the bill.

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Bill C-7, the bill that expands Canada’s euthanasia law, is facing challenges from people with disabilities, physicians and other groups, and now, at least one Liberal MP has decided to vote against Bill C-7 saying that the legislation allows people living with temporary despair to die by euthanasia.

CBC News reported on December 9 that Liberal MP Marcus Powlowski who represents the Ontario riding of Thunder Bay-Rainy River has voted against Bill C-7 at the report stage, and unless changes are made to Bill C-7, he will vote against Bill C-7 at Third reading.

Powlowski, who is a medical doctor and also has degrees in law told Kathleen Harris from CBC News:

“I don’t like voting against my party, but as someone with a medical background and somebody who has dealt with this issue over the years a lot, I think morally it’s incumbent upon me to stand up when it comes to issues of health and life and death,” he said.

Read More “Canada-Euthanasia Bill C-7 faces push-back. One Liberal MP says he is voting against the bill.”
What is the “Good” of Euthanasia?

What is the “Good” of Euthanasia?

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Gordon Friesen

By Gordon Friesen, EPC board member
http://www.euthanasiediscussion.net/

Combining incompatible moral systems: “subjective” vs “objective”

Throughout what follows, we must never lose sight of one simple fact: Euthanasia was not legalized because legislators, judges, doctors — or society at large — have agreed that any form of voluntary death is good and proper; in and of itself; in all similar cases; for all people; in the way we naturally understand the meaning of “right and wrong”.

Read More “What is the “Good” of Euthanasia?”
October 7, 1933: Nazi’s Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain.

October 7, 1933: Nazi’s Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The following article was published by the New York Times on October 8, 1933.

German monument to the victims of euthanasia

The Associated Press published an article on the proposed German euthanasia program on October 7, 1933; soon after the Nazi party took control of the German government. The article states:

The Ministry of Justice in a detailed memorandum explaining the Nazi aims regarding the German penal code today announced its intention to authorize physicians to end the sufferings of incurable patients.

The memorandum, still lacking the force of law, proposed that “it shall be made possible for physicians to end the tortures of incurable patients, upon request, in the interests of true humanity.”

Read More “October 7, 1933: Nazi’s Plan to Kill Incurables to End Pain.”
Assisted-death Bill C-7 gives licence to do away with disabled people like me

Assisted-death Bill C-7 gives licence to do away with disabled people like me

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
David Shannon

David Shannon, who is a lawyer and a well known disability rights leader, wrote an article that was published on December 3, 2020. Shannon is opposed to euthanasia Bill C-7 because it specifically focuses on death for people with disabilities, as Shannon wrote:

Bill C-7 goes beyond a good death — it merely offers death, and this is where I take exception.

With the proposed legislation, anyone who is disabled could decide to have a medically assisted death at any time they choose.

Take the word “disabled” out of that last sentence and replace it with any other group.

Read More “Assisted-death Bill C-7 gives licence to do away with disabled people like me”
Assisted death – the path of least resistance

Assisted death – the path of least resistance

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The following article was published in the London Free Press EPaper (page A11) on December 5, 2020

Dr Ramona Coelho MD, CCFP, Family Physician, London, ON

Dr. Sohail Gandhi, MD, CCFP, Immediate Past-President and Board Director, Ontario Medical Association

Dr. Leonie Herx MD PhD CCFP (PC), Division Chair & Associate Professor of Palliative Medicine, Queen’s University, Past-President Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians

Day af​ter day, we par​tic​i​pate in a health-care system and a so​cial sup​port sys​tem that does not come close to meet​ing the ba​sic needs of our most vul​ner​a​ble patients. How​ever, our role as physicians should al​ways be to first ad​vo​cate that our pa​tients ac​cess all rea​son​able sup​ports for mean​ing​ful life without suf​fer​ing.

Read More “Assisted death – the path of least resistance”

Belgian authorities investigating alleged illegal euthanasia deaths

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This article was published by Bioedge on November 29, 2020.

Michael Cook

By Michael Cook
Editor of BioEdge
 

Officials in the Belgian city of Leuven are investigating about ten euthanasia cases which may not have been done legally.

The public prosecutor was tipped off by an anonymous letter to the De Standaard newspaper. comes from a letter sent anonymously to the paper’s editorial desk. Until the investigation has been completed, police are keeping mum.

The letter says: “Our family member passed away two years ago, and we were told that euthanasia was presumed to have been carried out without the doctors informing us or following the necessary procedure.

Read More “Belgian authorities investigating alleged illegal euthanasia deaths”

I hate to say that we were right but Canada’s law did not prevent euthanasia for mental illness.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Alan Nichols died by euthanasia for mental illness in 2019

Parliament is currently debating Bill C-7, a bill to expand Canada’s euthanasia law.

During the debate on Bill C-14 (2016) we argued that the lack of definition in the bill would enable the law to be continuously expanded by doctors who support euthanasia.

Joan Bryden published an article for CP Press on November 22 titled: Exclusion of mental illness in assisted dying bill slammed by psychiatrists.

Read More “I hate to say that we were right but Canada’s law did not prevent euthanasia for mental illness.”

Canada’s claim to value seniors & disabled people rings false during COVID-19 pandemic

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Taylor Hyatt

By Taylor Hyatt

Euthanasia Prevention Coalition board member & disability rights activist 

Canada’s Maclean’s magazine has been running a series of articles on aspects of life turned upside down in the chaos of 2020. On their list of “14 things 2020 proved wrong” is the assumption that “Canada values its seniors” – not to mention younger disabled people who also live in congregate care settings.

Author Christina Frangiou’s piece begins on a jarring note, quoting a nurse in a Toronto-area hospital who called octogenarian Mary Wilton “a waste of space” while caring for her in the summer of 2019.

Read More “Canada’s claim to value seniors & disabled people rings false during COVID-19 pandemic”

The Netherlands expands the rules for euthanasia of people with dementia.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Euthanasia for people with dementia paves the way for non-voluntary euthanasia.

The Netherlands is quickly expanding the euthanasia rules The Netherlands government recently announced that they plan to extend euthanasia to children, they are also expanding euthanasia for people with dementia while, at the same time, the Netherlands government is debating euthanasia for healthy people who claim to have lived a “completed life.”

The NL Times reported that the five regional euthanasia review committee’s have agreed to expand euthanasia for people with dementia by loosening the requirements in four areas. The article stated:

The updated Euthanasia Code says that a dementia patient’s statement requesting euthanasia does not have to be legally perfect.

Read More “The Netherlands expands the rules for euthanasia of people with dementia.”

Popular articles concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide.

Read More “Popular articles concerning euthanasia and assisted suicide.”

Who really wants to die? Part VII: The justification of Canadian-style euthanasia is not to be found in any rational dynamic of market economics

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Gordon Friesen

Gordon Friesen, EPC board member
http://www.euthanasiediscussion.net/

As a general principle, the means taken to address an issue should be proportional to the issue itself. We do not, for instance, use a baseball bat to swat a fly.

The specific point of this series of articles has been to demonstrate that there is very little organic consumer demand for euthanasia as compared to the scale as it is currently being developed and marketed in Canada.

Read More “Who really wants to die? Part VII: The justification of Canadian-style euthanasia is not to be found in any rational dynamic of market economics”

90-year-old woman dies by (MAiD) euthanasia rather than go through another COVID-19 lockdown.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canada’s parliament is currently debating Bill C-7, a bill to expand (MAiD) euthanasia in Canada to people who are not dying.


Even though Bill C-7 is not yet passed,  CTV News Medical Correspondent, Avis Favaro, reported that Nancy Russell, a 90-year-old long-term care resident, who was not chronically ill or dying, died last month by euthanasia (MAiD) to avoid living through another COVID-19 lock-down. 


Favaro reports:

Across Canada, long-term care homes and retirement homes are seeing rising cases of COVID-19 and deaths yet again, a worrisome trend that is leading to more restrictions for the residents.

Read More “90-year-old woman dies by (MAiD) euthanasia rather than go through another COVID-19 lockdown.”

A suicide prevention story from a Canadian psychiatrist.

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I received the following message from a Canadian psychiatrist who gave permission to publish it.

From the diary of the lived experience of a psychiatrist:

“I spent over 4 hours on Tuesday night talking a chronically suicidal patient out of jumping off a bridge after multiple suicide attempts in the past two months, and convinced her to meet me at the hospital to get treatment that she needed to stay stable.

Read More “A suicide prevention story from a Canadian psychiatrist.”

Canada’s Correctional Investigator calls for a moratorium on MAiD (euthanasia) in prisons.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Ivan Zinger

The Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator is calling on the federal government to enact a moratorium on MAiD (euthanasia) in prisons.

Dr Ivan Zinger, the Correctional Investigator for the federal government outlined his concerns in his annual report concerning the known MAiD deaths in the prison system. The report states:

There are three known cases of MAiD in federal corrections, two carried out in the community, and each raises fundamental questions around consent, choice, and dignity. In the two cases reviewed in the reporting period, my Office found a series of errors, omissions, inaccuracies, delays and misapplications of law and policy.

Read More “Canada’s Correctional Investigator calls for a moratorium on MAiD (euthanasia) in prisons.”

People with disabilities oppose Bill C-7 expansion of euthanasia.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Roger Foley

The Parliamentary Committee on Justice and Human Rights had its third hearing on Bill C-7, the bill to expand Canada’s euthanasia law, on Tuesday November 10. Tuesday’s hearing heard testimony from several advocates and people with disabilities concerning the effect of Bill C-7 upon their community. Link to Tuesday’s Parliamentary Committee meeting (Link).

Euthanasia Bill C-7 fast-tracked in Committee (Link).

Kathleen Harris, reporting for CBC news, stated that people with disabilities are warning that Bill C-7, which expands access to MAiD (euthanasia) devalues the lives of vulnerable people.

Read More “People with disabilities oppose Bill C-7 expansion of euthanasia.”

Spain Bioethics Committee Unanimously rejects euthanasia

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The CNA News Agency reported on October 13 that The Bioethics Committee of Spain (CBE) unanimously rejected the underlying principles behind the euthanasia and assisted suicide bill that is making its way through the Congress of Deputies, the lower house of the legislature. 


The CNA reported:

The 12-member CBE, which is responsible for issuing reports on matters with relevant bioethical implications, unanimously reached the decision to advise the government that the proposed euthanasia law is not valid from an ethical point of view.

There are solid health, ethical, legal, economic and social reasons to reject the transformation of euthanasia into a subjective right and a public benefit,” the Oct.

Read More “Spain Bioethics Committee Unanimously rejects euthanasia”

Bill C-7, From MAiD to MAD: Medical Assistance in Dying becomes Medically Administered Death

Link to the original physicians statement (Link).

You no longer need to be dying for your physician to end your life.

To all physicians: Please endorse the following statement (Link)

As Canada and the world live in fear of death from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are reminded of the lengths to which public authorities can and should go to prevent death and to protect the common good. We consider as normal and necessary the curtailment of certain individual liberties in the interest of protecting citizens from the spread of disease. We are thus reminded that the exercise of personal autonomy, far from being the supreme value in society, must be limited when it can lead to harm to others.

Read More “Bill C-7, From MAiD to MAD: Medical Assistance in Dying becomes Medically Administered Death”

Sign and share the petition opposing child euthanasia.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

*Sign and share the Petition opposing child euthanasia in the Netherlands (Link).

The petition to: Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister of Health Hugo de Jonge states:

I oppose the extension of euthanasia to children. 

Euthanasia is sold to the public with the assurance that it is based on a “freely consenting person” being approved, under the law, by doctors. 

Children cannot freely consent. They can also be coerced in a different manner than adults. 

I call on the Netherlands government to reject extending euthanasia to children and ensure that children who live with painful medical conditions be provided excellent pain and symptom management and not lethal injection.

Read More “Sign and share the petition opposing child euthanasia.”

Belgium: Reported euthanasia deaths increase to 2656 in 2019. A 267% increase in 9 years.

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Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The European Institute of Bioethics (EIB) has published a report on the 2019 Belgian euthanasia report indicating that the number of reported assisted deaths increased by 12.6% in 2019 to 2656. The 2018 Belgian euthanasia report, indicated that in 2018 there were 2357 reported assisted deaths. There were 954 reported assisted deaths in 2010 representing a 267% increase in 9 years.

The EIB stated that the Belgian euthanasia commission admits that it:

“does not have the possibility of evaluating the proportion of the number of euthanasia’s declared in relation to the number of euthanasia’s actually carried out.”

Read More “Belgium: Reported euthanasia deaths increase to 2656 in 2019. A 267% increase in 9 years.”